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the birth and they have proved efficacious in cases of accidental smothering, and of suffocation by noxious damps, in instances in which the tenderness of the infant body, or the debility of old age, greatly lessened the previous probability of success; insomuch that no species of death seems to be placed beyond the reach of this Society's assistance, where the mischief hath gone no farther than an obstruction of the movements of the animal machine, without any damage of the organs themselves. Whether an institution of which it is the direct object to guard human life (as far as is permitted) against the many casualties that threaten it to undo the deadly work of poisons-to lessen the depredations of natural disease, whether an institution so beneficial to individuals, so serviceable to the public, by its success in preserving the lives of citizens, deserve not a legal establishment and patronage, to give it the means and the authority to prosecute its generous views with the more advantage it is for statesmen to consider, who know the public value of the life of every citizen in a free state. It is for us,
till this public patronage be obtained, to supply the want of it, what we can, by the utmost liberality of voluntary contribution.
Nor let any be deterred from taking a part in the views of this excellent institution, by a superstitious notion, that the attempt to restore life is an impious invasion of His province in whose hands are the issues of life and death. The union of soul and body once dissolved, the power which first effected can alone restore; but clockwork accidentally stopped may often be set a-going again, without the hand of the original artificer, even by a rude jog from the clumsy fist of a clown, who may know next to nothing of the nicer parts of the machine. If the union of soul and body remain, as we have seen reason to believe, for some time after the vegetable life hath ceased, whilst it remains, the man whom we hastily pronounce dead is not indeed a dead man, but a living man diseased: "He is not dead, but sleepeth;" and the attempt to awaken him from this morbid sleep is nothing more criminal or offensive to God than it is criminal or
offensive to God to administer a medicine to a man sick of any common distemper. The province of God, who wills that at all times we rely upon his blessing as the first cause of deliverance in all distress, but forbids not that we use the instruments which his mercy hath put in our own hands, -his province is no more invaded in the one case than in the other. On the contrary, it is not less criminal, less uncharitable, less offensive to God, to neglect the man under the recent symptoms of death, than to neglect the sick man, in whom those symptoms have not taken place; since the true condition of both, for any thing we can possibly know to the contrary, is only that of sickness.
Nor let us be deterred from promoting the attempts to reanimate, by another superstition,—that if we recover the man apparently dead, we do him no good office; we only bring him back from the seats of rest and bliss to the regions of misery. Elijah had no such apprehension, when he revived the widow's son; nor our Lord, when he reanimated the daughter of Jairus,
or the widow's son of Nain, when he recalled the soul of Lazarus. He recalled the soul of Lazarus! The soul once gone no human effort ever shall recall; but if it were criminal to stay the soul not yet gone but upon the point of her departure, the cure of diseases and of wounds, and the whole art of medicine and of surgery, by parity of reason would be criminal. But in truth, whatever might be the case of St. Paul and others of the first preachers and martyrs, who had no expectation in this world but misery, and were secure of their crown of glory in the next, to the generality of men, even of Christians, continuance in the present life is highly desirable; and that without regard to secular interests and enjoyments (which claim however a moderate subordinate regard), but purely with a view to the better preparation for the next. Upon this ground we pray against sudden death; and we may lawfully use other means besides our prayers to rescue ourselves and our brethren from it. The continuance of the present life gives the good leisure to improve, and affords the sinner space for repentance. Nor is it the
least part of the praise of this Society, that the restoration of the present life, effected by its means, hath been to many, by the salutary instruction and admonition which they have received from their deliverers, the occasion that they have been begotten anew, by the word of God and the aid of his Holy Spirit, to the hope of immortality.
They stand here before you whose recovered and reformed lives are the proof of my assertions. Let them plead, if my persuasion fail, let them plead the cause of their benefactors. Stand forth, and tell, my brethren, to whom you owe it under God that you stand here this day alive! Tell what in those dreadful moments were your feelings, when on a sudden you found yourselves surrounded with the snares of death, when the gates of destruction seemed opening to receive you, and the overflowings of your own ungodliness made you horribly afraid! Tell what were your feelings, when the opened afresh
bright scene of life upon the wondering eye, and all you had suffered and all you had feared seemed vanished like a dream! Tell